Starting with a Kitty Picture . . .

Hi Girlfriends!  I have a story for you today!   But to get your interest, I think I better start with a kitty picture. And your reward for wading through this will be a kitty movie at the end! 

Girl and Jack are “playing” except I think if she could get her paws on him she would box him up and send him into outer space. 🙂  He doesn’t know it.  He thinks she loves him and wants him to follow her everywhere.

OK, here’s that  story, it’s about why I’ve been answering all your wonderful comments, but we have to start at the beginning . . .

A long time ago (all stories are best told with musica!), when I was told that my first book was going to be published, I was beside myself with shock and happiness. I hadn’t met Joe yet, I didn’t have Martha or Lowely in my life; I knew very few people on the island, so I was alone, jumping up and down in my kitchen when it happened, getting on the phone, screaming for joy into the ears of my parents and friends in California!  But that event paled (slightly) to what happened a few months after the book came out.

It was a day I’ll never forget . . .  a freezing January afternoon. I’d gone to the post office to pick up my mail, parked my old green Volvo (which I still have!) in front of a gray snow bank and left the engine (and the heater) running.  I picked my way over dirty parking-lot ice, through the glass doors at the post office; it seemed like just a normal winter day; I was feeling a little isolated and alone on the island, freezing, dark, gray, wintry Martha’s Vineyard.  I was still a relatively new transplant, a stranger in a strange land.  When I got back to the car, I flipped through my mail and saw a pale blue envelope with a return address I didn’t recognize, written in unfamiliar handwriting. It made me curious, of course, so I opened it right away.  It was a letter from a woman I didn’t know telling me, in the most beautiful words imaginable, how much my book (Heart of the Home) meant to her.  I couldn’t believe it; I sat there in the snow and cried tears of gratitude.  Suddenly, my world had changed; I wasn’t isolated!  I wasn’t alone!  My heart overflowed with happiness; I clutched that letter to me, would have hugged it if it was bigger!  It had never occurred to me ever that someone might take the time to write and tell me they liked my book.  It changed my life.  From then on, every time I sat down to my art table, the first thing that came to my mind as I looked at the clean white paper in front of me was, “What shall I give the girlfriends today?  What would they like?” 

From page two of Heart of the Home . . . go little book.

The darling letters kept coming and for several years, I answered each of them individually. And I kept them, in shoeboxes; I couldn’t think of throwing them away.  I taped them on my studio door.  They were my inspiration.  But, and this is where it got to be unfair, pretty soon there were too many.  Although I read them all, I couldn’t answer them anymore, and then I felt guilty; such nice letters!  And my mother raised me to answer my mail!  Plus, I truly enjoyed the connection it was giving me with people from everywhere!  I had always been the Pen Pal type!  It put me in a terrible conundrum.

And so, as next-best alternative, Willard was born.  My first newsletter, via snail mail, handwritten like my books, named after my grandfather, with news from the Heart of the Home, went out for the first time in October 1995, and from then on, it was a yearly event.  As some of you know, I wrote Willard as a giant thank-you note (which is what it still is!), and so he came bearing gifts; tucked inside each letter were post-it notes, stickers, or a bookmark; maybe a little appointment book, or a gift enclosure.  Since I’d saved all the mail I’d received, I had all those return addresses, and that’s who the first snail-mail Willards went to, to about 2000 of the nicest people I’d could imagine.  It wasn’t as good as a handwritten personal note, but it did take away some of the guilt, and everyone seemed to like it.  I got more nice mail, thanking me for Willard! 

Each year, more girlfriends signed up for Willard; the last snail-mail Willard, sent in 2003, went to almost 25,000 people!  What started out as me, at the dining-room table, folding Willards and sticking on a couple thousand stamps, turned into me, and Joe, and three of my girlfriends, at the dining-room table folding Willards and sticking on 12,000 stamps!  And then, when it got too big for us and our table, Willard became a full on, hired-out, print job, with all the stuff that goes with it, including a bill for $26,000.

The miracle turned out to be that the last snail-mail Willard went out at almost the exact same time I got my first computer!  And a web site.  It was also at a time when the economy was changing, and not for the better.  It was a very difficult decision to stop sending the snail-mail Willard, but I just couldn’t afford it; I was SO grateful when I realized I could still send Willard, and for a LOT less money, if I sent him via email.  Much better, I thought, than nothing!  Plus, it would also allow me to do it more often, not just once a year, but once a month!

♥     ♥     ♥ 

These days Willard goes out to almost 45,000 girlfriends each month, we have more joining us all the time, and despite the fact that it’s no longer in an envelope, I still do my best to make sure there are thank you “gifts” enclosed. And it’s all happened the very best way, by word of mouth!  You made it happen, two by two, mom to daughter, sister to sister, girlfriend to girlfriend — and now, because of the BLOG, I can communicate, the way I love to, person-to-person, with everyone! 

The letters I received were always wonderful, filled with the breathings of hearts; it gave me such hope for the world to read the kindness in these letters, the stories of families, their joys, their sadnesses, their escapades; moms, daughters, grandmas, sisters, aunties, and best friends, plus the occasional wonderful man, talking about the things that matter to all of us.  I always thought how great it would be if everyone could meet each other.  We had so much in common, united in our love and dedication to home, family, and friends, connected through the same kind of energy, nurturing spirit, creativity, good heart, and a true belief in the world. I thought if everyone could meet each other, if we all could come together, we could give each other hope.

And now, here we are!  It’s all come true, here in kindred-spirit land.

I’m hoping this answers any questions you might have had about why I’ve been replying to all the wonderful comments left here!  I’m sure, with this story, you can see why, but it would still be a good question, because, as you know, I should be buckling down to write my book!  And I’m going to.

I knew, when I started answering almost every comment a few months ago, I wouldn’t be able to do it forever (my experience with the letter writing told me), but I SO wanted to start this blog off right, to welcome everyone, at least once, with a word just for them, even if it was only “thank you” because . . .

You’ve been so good to me, as Joe put it, I’ve been “wallowing in your lovelight!”  Thank you all, you bring me such inspiration! I still think, every day when I sit down at my art table, “What can I give the girlfriends today, what would they like?”  I think I know what you would like — you would like me to keep blogging and sending recipes, decorating ideas, kitty pictures, teapot photos, moon shots, island videos, and to finish this book. Right?  So that’s my focus for the next few months.

When I’m done writing the book, I will have a GREAT surprise for all of you.  A really great surprise!! In the meantime, I will read and adore every comment made here.  I hope you connect a bit with each other too, and when you don’t see me reply to your comments, you’ll know that I love you for being here and I’m painting and cooking new recipes as fast as I can, all the while thinking, “What shall I give the girlfriends today, what would they like?” 

And now, with no further adieu, I will set the Random Number Generator into motion to choose the winner of our drawing!  Soon, two of my signed Love books, one for our winner and one for her to give away to someone she loves, will be winging their way across country along with a special Valentine just for . . . .  Yoo hoo, RNG?  The name please?

♥ J O C E L Y N  

RNG only had a first name, but he also had her email address . . . so I wrote to Jocelyn and will probably hear from her soon.  One more hint, he says she’s a quilter!

And now because you’ve been so good, here comes a kitty movie.  This is four days after Jack had his surgery.  I know you’ve been wondering how he is . . .


Yes, and after today, I promise to keep my posts a little shorter too! 🙂  Don’t forget I’m taking you all to New York with me at the end of the month!  Have a wonderful day! 

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395 Responses to Starting with a Kitty Picture . . .

  1. Joan Lesmeister says:

    We’re all surrounding you with love dear, sweet Sue, lifting you up to help you meet your “deadline” for the new book! Waiting….waiting…..waiting. xoxo!

  2. Colleen says:

    Just got a chance to read your post…another great one! I am sure that I feel like all the other girlfriends when I say that you make us all feel special. You have a great story and I can’t wait to get your most recent book. Keep writing!
    P.S. Jack looks no worse for the wear! What a cutie!

  3. Sheila Brazzell says:

    Thank you-for the thank you this morning! Your blog always starts my day off with a smile. I no longer live in “the frozen north” but I do miss the snow a tiny bit. Your blog is like going on a new adventure every day. Thank you for that.

  4. Diana says:

    Enjoy working on your book! I have always appreciated your return comments but couldnt believe you could keep up with them all, so understandable. We will continue to look forward to your posts and seeing what’s happening on MV 🙂

  5. Suzy Gloth says:

    Awesome! My kitty, Felix, looks just like Jack. Love him!!!!! I also have Snakey, Jabs, Chigger, Three, Aunt Lil, Frito, Brenda and Muff. Each with their own cute little personality. Only Snakey and Brenda are in/out kitties – the rest are outside. We live in Georgia so the weather is pretty mild. Love your… I was going to say blog… in truth… love it ALL!!! Thanks for sharing your life with us.

  6. Mary Cunningham says:

    Dear Sweet Susan….I have so enjoyed your blog…your calendars and the very first little seasonal/holiday stickers I bought..I still have a few left….Thank you and a big “HUG” for being our “girlfriend….I used to write letters to my Grandma and Aunts, until they went to heaven….not much snail writing anymore….now I write and talk everyday to my friends through e-mail, Facebook and sometimes on the phone….aren’t girlfriends and guyfriends wonderful ? The magic of he internet is helping us keep connected and re-connect to people we knew long ago and also ones we have never met in person , but are part of each others lives…so… we cherish your art, kitties,videos,music, and most of all..your words..when you have time to share with us (we know about that book and calendar you are working on)…we are patient…love you Susan Branch!!!!!!!!!

  7. Barbara B says:

    I just love your adorable kitty!! I am allergic to cats so I could never have one of my own. Thank you so much for sharing your sweet kitty – it made my day!

  8. Lucie says:

    Jack is toooooo cute. I can hardly wait for the New York trip! I’m still back at moon chasing…. Susan you truly are an inspiration, thank you so much!

  9. Sheila Bayley says:

    Love the video. I had a black/white kitty we named Oreo. She was the sweetest girl and we had her for 17 years. What a love and so snuggly. Our latest is Tinker Bell and she was a feral that started eating with our other cat on the porch. Took us 3 months to get her to let us touch her and 6 months to come in the house. Now she sleeps on the couch next to my husband (he’s her fav) or at the foot of the bed until I come to bed, then “whoosh!”, she’s gone. She’ll let me pet her or pick her up, but only for a little while. She’s definitely a man’s cat. She’s been with us for a couple of years now and calls us home. Our last 4 animals have all been rescues and have all been great pets.

    Waiting with anticipation for your next book. I know it will be a “winner”. xoxo

  10. April R Poole says:

    Because of a kitty-hating mutt, cats are a forbidden luxury for me – and I adore cats. Your blog and your kitties are where I go for a purry-fix. Thank you so much.

  11. Tammy B says:

    Hey Susan. Just a quick question. I love to display your books in my kitchen, but some of the ones I’ve had for years and years have faded covers. Is there a place to order just the paper covers? Love, love your kitties. I miss ours and you have inspired me to consider getting another one. My girls would be SO HAPPY! ~Tammy B.

  12. Mary says:

    Dear Susan <3
    I was one of the recipients of the snail mail Willards! I still have them all to this day and I loved the little enclosed book marks so much I laminated them and used them with great joy. I discovered you one day while shopping at sam's club. They had a 1994 calendar and the Love book, I believe. A Big Huge Fan was born! I think your Willard sign up was on the inside sleeve of one of your books. And, guess what? The day I recieved my first Willard, I sat in the parking lot of our tiny little post office in my old volvo wagon and read it, I could not wait until I got home!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Small world. I looked forward to each and every book, still do. I went to one of your book signings and toted every one of my books and you sweetly signed every one and I truly cherish all of them. (On my second copy of Girlfriends because that one if falling apart). Oh, yeah, you have a FAN in me!
    Jack is darling!
    Stay warm and cozy in Martha's Vineyard!
    xo, mary

  13. Aggie says:

    I appreciate how you have personally extended yourself on this blog. After all being an artist and writer does take time just as it takes time for us to go to our jobs (for those working outside the home), so I understand. I am grateful to have received your blog responses. It would be nice to meet you one day at a book signing hopefully at a stop in Michigan 🙂

  14. Sandra says:

    What you give me is buckets of happy as I’m walking through the shadowlands. I’m not saying it works every time but when I’m feeling like the mountain of grief is positively overwhelming I visit your blog, Willard or website and catch a glimmer of sun light.
    For those glimpses of love light, my heart is most grateful. Thank you, Sue.

  15. sandi says:

    that’s the great thing about e-mailand blogs…being able to be pen pals with many people all over the world…at the same time…instantly! my very dear friend and i who live just 10 minutes from each other have started e-mailing, almost daily, the daily happenings in each of our lives. we realized just before christmas that we hadn’t had time to speak on the phone for about 5 or 6 days and we missed each other terribly. she suggested we start the e-mailing, and i was all for it! we both love to write…she is a beautiful writer and i love reading what she writes. i have found myself checking my e-mail more often just waiting with baited breath for her e-mails! it is so fun to have that to look forward to. so if anyone here would like to be e-mail pals…i’m at [email protected]

  16. Pamela A says:

    As I have written to you before – so love your blog (short or long). Throw in some kitty pictures and I’m in. I feel like your a long lost girlfriend, I truly imagine how sweet you to meet and the lucky ones that do get to call you a friend. I thank for sharing all that you do and all that you give. Your books always make me smile no matter how many times I look at them, truly beautiful cover to cover. So please keep sharing all the things in your life that make you happy and make you smile – they also make me happy and make me smile!

  17. zinnia patch says:

    susan i’m sending you a big ole (oh oh can’t breath…ahhhh wheee) bear hug!!!!
    you just make my day!!!!!!

  18. Nancye says:

    Thanks, Susan, for the adorable video of Jack…made me laugh a lot…and thanks for your inspiration and great blog…enjoy it immensely.

  19. Pamela says:

    Susan, I have a 6 year old Jack Russell named “Jack”. He plays with balls just like a cat. However, he will not give me the ball. That is part of his game, to make me try to get it from him. Our pets are such an important part of our lives!

  20. laura lee hayes says:

    …no need for excuses Susan…you go be your wonderful self! i have no doubt that you will always provide friendship and inspiration to each of us! i am so happy to call you my ‘girlfriend’…xoxo
    ps…Jack might be happy to hear that my large golden retriever was never interested in retrieving anything…he is adorable!

  21. Janet says:

    Hello Susan – so glad to doing your “little man” is doing well after his visit to the doctor. I don’t have the Internet at home [deliberately – if I did nothing would EVER get done at my house – it’s too addictive] so after reading about Jack’s appointment with destiny I was driving home from the office listening to one of my Bob Newhart’s comedy CDs from the 60s [when I was just a kid – he was one of my dad’s favorites] and what was the very first track up? A short and very funny story about Bob being faced with the same thing – only his cat was a Siamese cat! Hilarious! I highly recommend it – it’s a 2-CD album called “The Bob Newhart Anthology – Something Like This…”

    PS – I tried to copy the file name here for you but I don’t think it’s gonna work. So I’m going to try e-mailing it [hope you get it]. Thanks and take care…

  22. Kris says:

    Hi Susan – Today I was putting some greeting cards together to send to my parents, and was decorating them with some of your stickers…I looked on the back of your sticker sheet, and there was your website listed. I’ve been a fan for a long time and never visited your website before, so here I am! And I am so glad to have discovered it. 🙂 I think Jack is my cat Ninja’s long lost brother…they are both tuxedo cats! And thanks for your lovely site, wonderful words, and awesome art!

  23. Shelly D says:

    Hi Susan~ So many have already said it -“-don’t know how you do it!” – but you do connect with so many of us on so many levels: heart-warming stories, recipes, husbands & friends, homes, kitties, jokes, music, gifts, art that looks cuddly ~ and it all just keeps growing and getting better! The feel-good factor is as powerful as your comfort food is good (I’m making your Cranberry Apple Crisp right now…)
    Blogland and the current magazine-publishing world have only just caught on to what the girlfriends have known for years, and offers & requests will keep coming in. So please pace your sweet self, cause we want you to be happy and healthy. I guess that sounds selfish, because we want you to keep writing to Us, then for the rest of the world .
    And whenever, where-ever the 45,000!! of us might one day meet, it had better be bigger than Martha’s Vineyard ’cause we’d sink that sucker!
    Thank you soo much, Susan. Love, Shelly D

  24. Pat Mofjeld says:

    I can’t seem to find the comment that someone (or a few of you) sent in saying that you were wanting Susan’s 2012 calendar and couldn’t find one. The CUB store in St. Paul, MN, still has some copies for sale–the store on Lexington Avenue–and they have other stores in the area, too, that might still have some. Maybe you could try calling them or looking them up online??? Just wanted to share that news with you… 🙂

  25. Kari says:

    You have the energy of the sun itself! Your words glow with the staggering reflection of the moon. Your words sparkle in the hearts of so, so many like the billions of stars in the sky. You give so much goodness out to others and I hope you feel all of the Light and Goodness coming back to you. I am sharing your quotes with my third grade class…little bits at a time. Thank you for giving so much. ~Kari

  26. Dorothy Ann says:

    Hi Girlfriend Susan! I hope you are having a wonderful day!
    Hi to all the Girlfriends on Susan’s Blog. I just want to say…Anita…you are soooooo right! In your January 14th comments, you wrote that Susan has brought all of us “girlfriends” together…like a “family”. That’s so true.

    Susan, after reading all of the girlfriends’ posts to your awesome and heart-warming stories, amazing adventures and sweet plans, I, too feel close to you and everyone, even though we haven’t met. It seems to me that we all share a connection , golden threads that are tied to you and your heart and home.

  27. Cheryl Egan says:

    Hi Sue!
    You are going to think I am nuts, but I just had to share something funny with you. I don’t know if you remember my telling you, but we have a Wheaton Terrier named Finnegan. As 2 adults with grown children, he is our new child! My husband, who NEVER wanted a dog….EVER, finially caved in and drove me all the way to Maine (where I knew he was waiting for us because I had been doing my research) 2 years ago. Well, to make the story short, I will just say that we ADORE Finnegan. He is the perfect dog for our family. He goes everywhere with us. When we are on our boat in the summer off Chappy or in Maine, he jumps in the water and swims all around, when we are skiing, he runs up and down the slope after his favorite ball, and after a long day of doggie fun and games, he sleeps on our bed (I would never have thought this would be allowed) on his back. He is a total hoot! Anyway, one day I was watching you tube videos of other Wheaton Terriers playing and doing goofy things and he heard doggie voices coming out of my computer so he sat up next to me and started to watch in facination. We began to do this regulary. Then the funniest thing happened. You posted video clips of Jack! (We have an older “girl kitty” named Annibel and she won’t have anything to do with poor Finn, but he loves her regardless of how she feels.) Now, whenever Finnegan hears Jack’s little ball with the bell sound coming out of my computer, he rushes over to watch the clip of Jack’s antics. It is so funny! Finnegan is wondering if Jack might get his own blog going with even more video clips! I bet you never imagined you have a canine fan base as well as all your girlfriends!
    I hope you and Joe are well. I would LOVE to share a cup of tea sometime whe I am on the island for the day.
    Best thoughts always….

    • sbranch says:

      Jack also hears the ball when I’m looking at videos of him! Comes rushing over and stares at himself on the screen. Our animals are so wonderful! Thanks Cheryl!! I think I love your dog already!

  28. Candice says:

    I don’t have a computer at home (if I did, I would be working for my lawyer husband 24/7), so didn’t see this until today. I had been wondering how Jack was doing, and I am so happy to see that surgery didn’t affect him at all! He is such a little cutie; I know he is bring you much joy. And, by the way, your books mean a lot to me, too!

  29. Angie(Tink!) says:

    Morning Sweet Sue…I Love That Photo of You In The Snow!….& Oh Jack & Girl Kitty…so Cute…& The Jack Video…The Cats Pajamas! Meow!….I Love How You Love Us & We Love You….Amen to Girl~Power!…so You are going to New York (My Town!) Yay!….sending January Pixie~Dust…Everywhere! xoxo Poof!

  30. Em says:

    Dear Susan, may I please ask….
    You are so very generous with sharing so many details with everyone, and I really didn’t want to bother you with this…but I have searched for so long with no luck that now I am going to break down and ask you. Please?♥ Is there any chance that you would share just the tiniest details of the beautiful floral rose fabric on your beautiful wing chairs? Would you recommend the name of the fabric, the store or the decorator who helped you with it, etc etc? Just a hint to share with us? ♥ That is the perfect fabric but it is so hard to find! Thank you for always sharing so much with us! ♥ ♥ ♥

    • sbranch says:

      I’m sorry, it’s been a long time, I just went to our local wallpaper/fabric store and picked it out of a book, and I just don’t remember what the brand was!! The only thing I can do is take a good picture of it and put it up on the blog tomorrow . . . watch for it!

      • Em says:

        Thank you!
        Maybe one of The Girlfriends will recognize the print and will remember the name! (-unless the wallpaper store would know?)

  31. Donna Wheeler says:

    Jack does love fetching, capturing and stalking his red ball. Reminds me of when my Casey Cat was younger and liked playing with string on the end of a stick, or jumping in and out of any box or paper bag in the house. Thanks for the video of feisty Jack.

  32. michelle mcconachie says:

    Many of Susan’s books are available through AbeBooks.

  33. Carolyn says:

    Looks like Jack still has his spunk! Thanks for sharing!

  34. Kathy McKinstry says:

    are you sure that Jack isn’t really a small dog in disguise? I suspect that Girl Kitty is wondering the same thing!!! Both of your cats are adorable, entertaining, and “too cute” for words!
    Your blog is perfect, just as you have made it. I love everything that you share with us…….don’t change anything about it!

    Kathy from CT

  35. Connie B says:

    Glad to see that Jack has fully recovered. It doesn’t take long for them to bounce back. My 2 ancient kitties still play that ball game– until my dog wants in on the fun. Another fun game is to get an old fishing pole- tie a long string on it with a small piece of rag tied to the other end. What fun we all have with that. Thanks for sharing the video.

  36. Christine from Lafayette, CO says:

    Good Morning Susan and Girlfirends!
    I spoke with a Charles at The Tattered Cover regarding your book tour. Very nice gentleman BUT! he said he sets up book signings with the publishers since they handle the expense of the tours. (What??!?!! Hello, I’m a girlfriend of Susan’s. Of course I can hand her affairs! Do you want to read the blog?!) This is just a little bump in the road. Denver loves Susan and wants her HERE! Anyone at Little, Brown & Company I can contact? BTW, Charles was very familiar with your work. But of course! 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      Maybe I should call him as we get closer — we’re setting up our own tour this time! 🙂

      • Christine from Lafayette, CO says:

        Wonderful! Please, let me know if I can “run any errands for you” on this end! And, needless to say, if you need a room for the night/weekend/week we’d LOVE to have you stay with us! xoxox

  37. Enikö says:

    Jack seems to think he’s a dog! I’ve noticed that the girlfriends are starting to chat among themselves on your blog…the miracle of the internet and your loving spirit have brought so many together. Give yourself a big hug!

  38. Donna Nault says:

    I just love reading your blog! You make me smile every single day = )

  39. Jennie Lavezzo says:

    I try to save all of these up to read for a special treat at the beginning of a new week (Sunday blues). It makes us all feel so special, everything you share. I have a hand written note you wrote back to me after I sent you a letter in 2002! Such a treasure! Thank you for everything you do! and for sharing your story about all of it.

  40. Michele Salazar says:

    I must have the birdie shakers! I have a parrottlett named Limon that looks just like them!

    Please don’t tell Jack!

  41. Laurie Lee says:

    hi susan,
    love your artwork. you need to start selling your beautiful wedgewood cups and saucers again.

  42. Rhonna says:

    I’m new and hooked. And now I am going to start yet another collection; Emma Bridgwater!! And, oh, those birdie salt and pepper shakers!!

  43. Lynne Mehler says:

    Hi Susan, Don’t you just love the way the Christmas lights look when they are covered in snow!

    I have to tell you, I went to the flea market with my husband yesterday and they had DISHES — lots of dishes! I only bought a set of bowls though LOL. I’m beginning to think you are a bad influence on me! 😉

    Take Care,

  44. Audrey Patterson says:

    I would like to know why my comments are never posted? I understand that you have the right to refuse any you dont like but it would be nice to know what i am saying that is offensive. I really value your blog so please let me know if you have time to do so.
    I have also contacted you as Bernice Patterson and received no acknowledgement, only the first time when I commented on your Peter Rabbit room. Love your stuff.

    • sbranch says:

      I can’t figure it out Audrey, but lets try it again . . . the back end of this blog seems to have a mind of its own! Sorry!

      • Audrey Patterson says:

        Thanks Susan, I’m so happy to know I have not been offending, you are my favourite blog and such an inspiration.
        Due to age and pain I have been letting my creative self lose the battle and my pratical self has been winning. The gig is up, thanks to your wonderful inspiring words and pictures. After seeing your cupboard full of sweet dishes I went right upstairs and brought down some of my good ole stuff and have been playing ever since. Yes it’s easier to clean an empty house but it’s also no fun at all. Now I can get back to being “The Chick in Charge of Fun “. Yeh Susan thanks.My cupboard would make a wonderful home for those dear little birdies.
        Audrey Bernice

  45. Sonya Hewes says:

    Those birds are absolutely adorable and makes me wish for Spring. We have had record snowfall so far this winter, 95 inches! Maybe these birds will make Spring come sooner! 🙂

  46. Kathye Ogle says:

    I love escaping to my computer after my hubby leaves for work and finding something warm and wonderful on your blog! We also had our first snowfall here in Maryland a few days ago so your scenery looks familiar and beautiful! I cannot wait for your new book! Have a lovely day! Kathye

  47. MaryAnn Jones says:

    I cannot tell you how much I look forward to your blog. I wait patiently to read everyday. You are such a talented person in all you do. You inspire me to be a better person.
    Thank you!!!!!

    • sbranch says:

      The hardest thing in my day is reading these wonderful words and not answering every single one! XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO

  48. Kathy Fletcher says:

    Oh i want to live up there where you do!@!@! Just looks so nice and quaint and love the houses……and the area….hahha-
    I love your blog- i look forward to finding it in my email box……please keep it up…..just the photo’s and pictures and cute whimsey-make me smile……
    so please have a wonderful day……and continue please to make me smile….
    send some snow down our way in Kentucky too please…….

  49. Linda says:

    Hi Susan, l just love those little green birds and all of your posts! I’ve been collecting your cookbooks, inspiration notes, little boxes, etc. since my 2 daughters were born (early 90’s). I know I can always find comfort and ideas in your books and posts. Although I live in Texas and love my home state, I’m always thrilled to see those posts from your area. We may or may not get one little snow here per season but that cozy place you create in my mind takes care of anything I may be missing when I walk out the door. By the way, our finches just showed up last week and our feeders are full! Hope you have a wonderful warm week!

  50. Jillian says:

    The birdie shakers are a cheery reminder that Spring is on its way!
    Thank you for all of the inspiration that you share!

  51. Kathy says:

    Loving your birds and longing for spring! I am so happy to see Kitty Girl and Jack are trying to make peace. I absolutely adore both of them. My guilty pleasure….to see your blog during the work day! Thank you for sharing. By the way I’ll be in Africa for the full moon on 07FEB12. I have my moon schedule out so I can take my own moon pics.

  52. Dorothy Stone says:

    Thank you for providing me with a mini vacation every time you send out these wonderful blogs. What a delight to take a break and imagine I’m there in Martha’s Vineyard. The magic spills over to evening when I enjoy my cup of tea and relax wishing I had a Girl Kitty and an adorable Jack. We don’t have snow in Texas very often, but when we do, I’ll see it in a new light thinking of your beautiful house and will try to notice all the little nuances you have taught me to look for and appreciate. You are contributing more to our lives than you realize.

  53. Sandy says:

    The cake looks delicious! The only problem is deciding between a glass of nice cold milk or a cup of nice hot coffee to go with it! Hmmm. The bird salt shakers are adorable too.

  54. Vivian says:

    What adorable little birds, Susan !!! I miss pretty little birds. We are living in the high desert (SP?) of California and don’t see the little guys! I miss them so!
    What we do have, if you can believe it, is a cat that comes to visit us on our garden patio that looks just like yours !!!! And he is really something!!! He sits there and looks at us thru the French doors as if to say, “Well, why are you here? This is my place!” What an adorable fellow!

    I do so enjoy your interesting blogs and REALLY enjoy the pictures of your snow. I miss that, too !

    God bless and KEEP ON WRITING !!!! Really looking forward to your new book! I have all the others!

  55. joan spears says:

    Those 2 birds remind me of when I met my husband’s mother. She had 2 of them sitting on the windowsill along with one of those old fashioned red apple sugar bowl.
    When I saw them they brought back the fondest memories of my wonderful mother-in-law.
    I also have 2 rescue cats. Unfortunately the older one has taught the newer one some very bad habits. They chase each other through the house jumping on top of everything in sight at the speed of lightening. Now Max has learned to open our screen doors!
    Can’t wait until I can get my hands on your latest book.

  56. Mary McCatherine says:

    Lovely birds…flying into my heart!

  57. Brenda McBride says:

    My mom has Alzheimers. This has been a very difficult year for me, but reading your blogs and seeing the photos has helped keep me centered. They make me happy. And they inspire me to make my home and small farm as sweet and perfect as I can. Thank you so much. Love, Brenda

    • sbranch says:

      So sorry Brenda, that’s very sad. Watch yourself move around your house, make a piece of toast, fill a bird feeder . . . those little things bring comfort. xoxo

      • Audrey Patterson says:

        Dear Brenda, My husband and I play music for Alzeimer’s
        people and we have learned something that may be of interest to you. The part of the brain that remembers music is often not effected by the disease, thus when you get to the point, where you cannot share memories with a loved one, you often can share music. to sing with them would be best.
        All the best to you.

  58. Laurie Alves says:

    I think those little birds need to “fly to California”. I have been to Martha’s Vineyard once and Nantuckett Island once. Both in the summer, but I love the quaintness of the islands. I love seeing the snow pictures – maybe it’s because I’m not “living in it”. My family is from Massachussetts – I am an “East Coast Girl” at heart – I love to visit New England.

  59. This is my first post and my first message to you-ever! I’ve been collecting your books, calendars, a berry bowl, fabrics, stationery and more since Heart of the Home. I feel blessed to know your work and your life- thank you! I especially love looking at the old black and white photos of your family and recently, your photos of your home, kitties, dishes and today, the snow on the island. Lovely photos! Thank you for sharing with all of us- our lives are richer because of you!

  60. Dorothy Ann says:

    Hi Susan…Not quite sure my comment went through…but oh yes! I would love to be part of your new “birdies give-a-way” drawing. They are soooo cute! and I have the most perfect white kitchen shelf to place them on. Thank you for sharing…once again…I think you have sweetest heart of the home because of you!

  61. Patti P says:

    Already left a comment about the birdies, would love to win them, but they pale in comparison to the beauty in the snowy pictures you provided us. Oh how I miss the sparkle of a fresh snow, especially at night, everything looks so bright and thanks for the Christmas lights on the snowy tree as well. I would still love the win the birdie S & P’s, just wanted to thank you for the beautiful pictures of the snow.

  62. Carol W. says:

    I was first introduced to Susan Branch books when my niece gave me ‘Christmas from the Heart of the Home’ many years ago. I get it out every Christmas and page through it. About a month ago, I visited to your site but this time, I clicked on the blogs and I read a couple, then a few more and some more and my oh my, you are soooo much like all the rest of us!! Your blog is truly the only blog I read. I am glad you mentioned the email blog notice, because I did subscribe last week and I wanted to ‘unsubscribe’ for the reasons you mentioned but I didn’t want anyone to think I didn’t like the blog, so now I can ‘unsubscribe’ with a clear conscience!!

    Carol (but I wish my name was Daisy 🙂 )

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